A 5-for-1 & the Dance Floor — GoT 11
breathe in + breathe out
The sky and all that lies in the
dimensions above it will
cease to exist.
The dead know nothing of life,
and the living will never die.
When you consume that
which is already dead,
you are turning it
back into life.
So, then, when you too re-emerge
into the Light, what will you do?
For on the day when
you were created one,
you also became two,
but when you come to realize
your twoness again,
what will you do?
We’ve got a five-for-one set of sayings here. And while some meaning might be drawn from the metaphors and parardoxes of a saying standing alone, why in the cosmos are all five of these strewn together as one?
Looking back at the 10 logions we’ve explored already, you might recognize a number of themes revisited here. Twoness or twin-ness from Logion 1. Talk of the dimensions above and the seeker turning inward from Logion 3. Consuming and becoming from Logion 7. And maybe this whole thing just leaves you perplexed a la Logion 2.
Lynn Bauman, the translator and commentator whose work we draw heavily upon for these reflections, highlights the insights of another commentator, Richard Valantasis, who offers that we read these sayings from bottom to top as well as top to bottom Give it a try. Sit with it a while.
Bauman, himself, suggests that we read these five sayings in the context of fire — the fire seed sown and blazing in Logion 10. He writes, “When fire interacts with the world there is not only conflagration [i.e., destructive fire], but transformation and change. Fire changes known realities. Its energy provokes new possibilities and contrary ways of perceiving the world.”
Seeing and understanding our spiritual lives (and all other aspects of our lives for that matter) as process — an ongoing undoing and becoming — seems key to all of this Gospel of Thomas stuff. So, what happens as we experience this human life and realize there is so much more going on here? What happens as we begin to wake up — as we are transformed?
What will we do
when we begin to understand
that we are flames of the Divine fire,
breaths of the Creator breathing!
What will emerge as our illusions of separateness are composted?
What fruit will we offer the world?
It is so easy to get caught up in all the dead stuff surrounding us.
Division. Fear and the greed and hate it breeds.
It will all become dust,
and so it is only dust now.
But what is living will never die…
You are not your labels.
Your party or news source.
Your aches and pains.
Your reputation. Your net worth.
You are. I am. We are…
This week, choose to dance.
Dance with others.
Love and truly see all you meet.
And be grateful for this one brief life
and the unending Cosmic Dance
to which our awareness is returning.
Peace and breath, friends
Intertwine is going inward. As cooler weather moves in and quarantine persists, let the be a season for developing our inner life. To aid us on the journey, we’re engaging the wisdom contained in the Gospel of Thomas, an ancient mystical Christian text. Lynn Bauman’s translation and commentary are the primary source for these reflections. Those of you who want to dig in even deeper, consider purchasing his books: Find Lynn’s basic GoT translation (in The Luminous Gospels) and his exceptional commentary (In Trouble and In Wonder) here.
Also key to this work is to address trauma within our bodies and systems. We continue to engage in the body-work presented in Resmaa Menakem’s My Grandmother’s Hands: Raciialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending our Hearts and Bodies. It’s not too late to get involved in this work. We have a few copies of the book available, and triads or small groups are still forming to work through the practices and material together. Find out more about this work here
Request a book and connect to a triad by emailing email@example.com